Monday, November 29, 2010

A Giveaway! A Giveaway!

For a long time I've struggled with the idea of having a contest or giveaway on my blog. I'm not against blog contests at all. In fact, I enter them whenever I get the chance.

But the thing I always have to remind myself is that I'm a writer first, a blogger second. If there were no such thing as blogs or even the Internet, I'd be writing anyway. It's in my nature and it's what I've always done since I knew how to write the alphabet. (No, seriously, ask my mom. She's kept all the stories I wrote when I was in elementary school.)

A good writer never writes for the money or the fame. I truly believe that when other motivating factors come into play, the quality of the writing suffers greatly.

That said, it sure does feel good when someone thinks you're a good enough or popular enough writer that they want to give you monetary resources to do so.

So a few weeks ago I said yes when Time To Play invited me and a few other Minnesota mom bloggers to a private toy shopping event at Sears in Mall of America.

At first I was really nervous to attend. I am not the kind of mom who hunts down the hottest toy in town just so my child might be excited for two minutes come Christmas morning. I tend to buy things my kids need (think undershirts or toothbrushes or fun underwear) and have them pose as presents. I will then buy one or two big ticket toy items that I know will stand the test of time. Last year William and Lucy received a play kitchen set from Santa and that thing still gets played with almost every day.

But instead of getting bombarded with toys that need 16 AA batteries and are loud and obnoxious (there was that too, don't get me wrong) I was pleasantly surprised to find The Toy Guy and Sears very balanced in their suggestions.  Instead of Christmas being all about the quantity and cost of presents he stressed that kids appreciate gifts a lot more if they received only a few quality items.  And isn't that the truth even for adults?

So to get your Christmas shopping started Sears has offered to give away a $50 giftcard to one of my readers.

Fun, right?  I means Sears has anything you could ever need to help widdle down your Christmas list.  Appliances and kitchenware and linens and toys and clothes and, my personal fave, LANDS END!  Who wouldn't want a Sears giftcard, right?

Here's how to enter:

1.  Leave a comment telling me the most memorable gift you received as a child.  If you don't answer that question your comment will be disqualified.  For this first entry you may only leave one comment per person.

2. Please remember to include your email address in the comment form so I know how to contact you if you win.  (I will be the only person who can see your email address.)

3.  The contest is open until Monday, December 6  at 8:00 p.m. Central Standard Time after which the winner will be chosen at random.

And, since it is my first giveaway ever I'm going to allow two additional entries per person that are entirely optional but you must complete the first entry above to qualify.  You can do both, one or none.
Option #1 - Link to this post via your Facebook page.  Leave a separate comment telling me you did so.

Option #2 - Link to this post via Twitter.  Leave a separate comment telling me you did so.
Good luck to all!

Sears provided me with one $50 giftcard for myself and another to give away.  However, opinions are still all my own.

**UPDATE: Congrats to Commenter #52, Autumn B., who won the $50 Sears giftcard.  This contest is now closed.

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